Cal. COA Decides ICWA Case involving Yurok Traditional Adoption Statute

Here is the opinion:

In re HR

An excerpt:

In 2010, legislation was enacted establishing “tribal customary adoption” as an alternative permanent plan for a dependent Indian child who cannot be reunited with his or her parents. Tribal customary adoption is intended to provide an Indian child with the same stability and permanency as traditional adoption under state law without the termination of parental rights, which is contrary to the cultural beliefs of many Native American tribes. In this case, the Yurok Tribe (the tribe) intervened in the dependency proceedings prior to the jurisdictional hearing and recommended tribal customary adoption as the permanent plan for the minor. The tribe now contends the juvenile court erred in terminating parental rights and selecting traditional adoption as the permanent plan. We disagree with the tribe’s contention that the court was required to select tribal customary adoption as the child’s permanent plan simply because the tribe elected such a plan but conclude that, in the absence of a finding that tribal customary adoption would be detrimental to the minor, the court erred in failing to select such a permanent plan in this case.